Saturday's global round up of good news.
It has been a bad week for Big Oil, and a very good one for the planet. UK-Dutch company Shell was ordered by a Dutch court in a landmark ruling to cut its carbon emissions 45 percent by 2030, while tiny activist investor group simultaneously won two places on ExxonMobil’s board and Chevron’s management was defeated when investors voted in favour of forcing the group to cut its carbon emissions. Chevron is second on the list of fossil fuel firms with the biggest cumulative carbon emissions, ExxonMobil is third and Shell sixth.
In what can only be described as a comedy of errors, an Argentinian TV news channel delivered a stunning, if slightly flawed, scoop on Thursday night when it reported that William Shakespeare, “one of the most important writers in the English language” had died five months after receiving the Covid vaccine. The gaffe of, well, Shakespearean proportions happened after Noelia Novillo, a newsreader on Canal 26, mixed up the Bard with William “Bill” Shakespeare, an 81-year-old Warwickshire man who became the second person in the world to get the Pfizer vaccine. William Shakespeare died in 1616, while his namesake - an inpatient in the frailty ward at University hospital, Coventry, at the time of his first vaccination - sadly died this week from a stroke unrelated to the jab.
Electric cars are not a new idea. L’Oeuf Electrique which, literally translated, means ‘electric egg’, and it’s not hard to see why the French designer and engineer behind this creation, Paul Arzens, landed on that name in 1942. Long before Elon Musk was even a twinkle in his mother’s eye this electric pod could cover 60 miles and had a top speed of 37 mph. The body is made entirely of aluminium and moulded plexiglass, which made it incredibly innovative for the era. Frankly, it looks worthy of making a comeback!
Australia uses more single-use plastics per capita than anywhere else, so it's good to hear that 60 major companies have formed the ANZPAC Plastics Pact - a collaborative solution behind a shared vision of a circular economy for plastic. Their four goals, to be rapidly pursued over a four-year period, involve eliminating unnecessary plastic waste, making all of what remains recyclable, reusable, or compostable, increasing self-policed plastic packaging by 25 percent, and increasing use of recycled plastic in manufacturing by 25 percent. It's a start!
In more good news from Down Under, Tasmanian devils have been born on Australian mainland for first time in 3,000 years. "We have been working tirelessly for the better part of 10 years to return Devils to the wild of mainland Australia with the hope that they would establish a sustainable population. Once they were back, it was entirely up to them," Aussie Ark said in a statement. "We had been watching them from afar until it was time to step in and confirm the birth of our first wild joeys. And what a moment it was!"
Imagine a California with volcanoes erupting to the east and Los Angeles buried under the Pacific Ocean. Giant camels, rhinoceros and four-tusked miniature elephants graze on a lush landscape. This is the prehistoric scene conjured up by a trove of new fossils discovered in California’s Sierra foothills - a hugely significant find. It now has scientists scrambling to piece together bone fragments that they believe will tell a story of climate change from 5 to 10 million years ago. We'll let you know when they've reached their conclusions...
Space photography is an art form - layers of colours, textures, and shapes not visible to the naked eye come out through long exposure shots that can take hours to perfect. Each year, Capture the Atlas asks astronomy fans around the world to submit their proudest moments capturing the wonders of the Milky Way galaxy. The photographs are truly spectacular!
A single-shot coronavirus vaccine from Johnson & Johnson has been approved for use in the UK.
Take inspiration from George: A man from Virginia and his 3-year-old grandson, Miles, have just wrapped up a month-long random acts of kindness tour. George came into an unexpected inheritance that he said he really didn't need. So, he decided to share it with people who are struggling. "I had this idea. I figured that some of us in this world are doing better than others. And that those of us who were, needed to share some of that good fortune with the ones who aren't doing so well," George said. For one month, George and his sidekick, Miles, handed out $100 a day with a note that read: "Please accept this random act of kindness. If you don't need it feel free to share it with others."
Dive in Deeper
Sex-mad and spectacular: As you are probably aware, once every 17 years, trillions of cicadas emerge from the ground in the US. But here are some remarkable facts that you may not know. [2 mins] Brood X...
Here comes the sun
For everybody in the UK who has put up with endless rubbish weather this year, it's good to know that the summer weather has finally started to arrive. And it's a Bank Holiday weekend! This gorgeous Beatles song is to help the celebrations and get everyone in the mood.